Going paperless can seem like an intimidating process, especially when it comes to creating internal audit trails and handling document version control. Businesses with established document management processes can find themselves struggling to trust a move to digital. However, maturation in the digital document management software market has created an environment in which robust workflow management, document auditing and version control systems are built into today's solutions.
Digital document management platforms make it easier to audit documents and control versions in a few ways, with major capabilities including the following:
- Automatic metadata control and tracking.
- Streamlined reporting pertaining to both internal and external user access to documents.
- Integration across corporate systems to ensure all documents and records are tracked by the system.
When these capabilities add up, organizations have an opportunity to easily view the full records of any document and identify all user activities. This type of visibility is proving essential as more businesses face complex document workflows involving both internal and external stakeholders.
"Controlling document versions and completing internal audits is critical."
Operational complexity driving document auditing advances
Cloud computing is fueling a great deal of business change. Among these shifts is a movement toward greater collaboration between businesses. A Pharmaceutical Processing report explained that pharma organizations are becoming more dependent on work that involves interactions between internal and external partners, creating a situation in which users must be able to share files and data seamlessly across diverse technological systems. Cloud technologies are simplifying this process by creating central areas where data, applications and documents can reside within a secure framework, but be shared across multiple businesses. While the benefits here are substantial, this increased collaboration makes version control, document auditing and similar processes more important than ever.
While Pharmaceutical Processing focused on the pharmaceutical sector, its insights increasingly apply to a wide range of industries. As businesses become more dependent on partnerships to meet specific operational demands, they must also develop strategies to coordinate operations and create digital paper trails. A diverse array of sectors are facing greater regulatory scrutiny, and effectively managing document versions and completing internal audits is critical for the modern enterprise. Document management software systems can simplify these processes, especially as they incorporate workflow automation into such capabilities as version control and auditing.
Workflow automation essential for internal auditing
An Information Age report detailing operational changes among enterprise finance teams highlighted the growing role that automation is playing in contemporary operations. While finance teams have historically been conservative with technology due to the sensitive nature of their work, automation is rising because virtual, software-driven workflows reduce the likelihood of error and create built-in digital audit trails.
"Document management systems establish a single source of truth for all information regarding files."
This functionality extends out to modern document management systems that feature workflow and process management capabilities. These tools can track all changes to files, compile key metadata about who accesses records and give organizations clear visibility into the entirety of their document landscape at any given time. This isn't just about "track changes" functionality and a bit of internal reporting. Advanced digital document management solutions are capable of tracking a wide range of file types, regardless of how they enter the organization, and establish a single source of truth for all information regarding those documents.
Heightened regulatory pressure and increased collaboration between businesses are creating new complications for document managers and other business leaders with a stake in file security and auditing. This complexity makes legacy document management processes inadequate for today's organizations. Going paperless can alleviate many of these problems through built-in auditing and version control features that enable organizations to track files across their entire life cycle and automate many of the documentation processes along the way.
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